The time to say goodbye to a beloved pet is a diifcult time indeed. I wanted to add a few of my thoughts on the subject both to ease your fears and also to let you now you are not alone and that you are fortunate to be able to choose this path; human medicine knows no compassion in this area.
Euthanasia is simply an overdose of an anesthetic agent, pentobarbitol. It is no more painful than any other intravenous injection and it acts very quickly, usually within 60 seconds. Most pets simply nod off to sleep, that is why it is commonly referred to as putting your dog to sleep. For pets that are very nervous or upset we give a tranquilizer before we administer the pentobarbitol. We do this procedure in our office and we encourage anyone in your family who wants to attend to be present; we don't recommend young children attend. We can also do this as a house call procedure which is a very nice setting. Either way, you will be talked to by one of our doctors about the upcoming procedure....we want to make this as comfortable for you as possible.
People often ask me, "How do you cope with this part of your job" and I tell them I like helping suffering pets and I equally like helping their owners/family members deal with this difficult event. Most pets at this stage of their lives are not enjoying day-to-day living and their quality of life is severely diminished. Yes, it is 'time'. I watched my grandmother, Sarah (RIP Grandma), suffer needlessly for 2 years when she was 95 and in a comatose state and I watched my mother go through the agonizing decision to starve her by witholding food and medication in order to end her suffering. She lived 95 mostly great years and it was her 'time', but we had no simple options for euthanasia.
I guess what I am trying to say is we should feel fortunate we have this option. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to call me personally to discuss at 970-524-3647.
Below is an article I wrote for the Vail Daily About euthanasia